Sometimes the time between meals is a long time, and you need a bite to eat to keep you going until your next meal. You want to have something healthy and fast that helps you stick to your healthy lifestyle.
Core Elements of Healthy Snacks
The best advice I have ever gotten was to include a serving of vegetables of fruits with every meal and snack. This ensures that you get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables you need to stay healthy.
This is your starting point to building a healthy snack. Pick at least one serving of fruit or vegetables. Remember, one serving of produce is good and more servings of produce are better.
Your next step is to add a source of protein to your snack. Having a snack comprised of protein and a serving of fruit or vegetable is a good way to get extra nutrition in your day, and the protein will help keep you satisfied until your next meal.
Some quick and easy ideas are:
- String cheese and an apple
- Deli turkey rolled up in a lettuce leaf with mustard
- Carrots and hummus
- Apple with almond butter
- Scrambled egg with broccoli
- Pear and almonds
If your snack is a pre- or post-workout meal, you may need to add some carbohydrates. This addition will probably take the calorie level to that of a mini-meal, so make sure you compensate during the rest of your meals and snacks.
Pre- and Post-Workout Ideas
Some ideas for adding carbs are making the deli turkey and lettuce into a sandwich using whole grain bread, or adding a serving of cooked beans or potatoes to any of the above snack ideas. You could also make a protein smoothie with protein powder, almond milk and fruit.
Having a snack does not have to derail your healthy eating plan. In fact, if you make the right snack choices the can improve the nutrition in your eating plan and help keep you on track.